In a recent event by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong yesterday morning, the companies unveiled Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich around the world. The operating system (OS) will feature support for both phone and tablet devices. Doing so they create a more universal OS similar to iOS and Windows 8. This is a huge leap forward and combines the best features of both Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) for smartphone devices and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) for tablets. The first device to support Android OS 4.0 will be the Galaxy Nexus. This new phone not only represents stronger branding between Samsung and Google, but also the power combo of Samsung’s Galaxy series and Google’s Nexus series. Quite a powerhouse Android indeed.
Here is the official teaser for Ice Cream Sandwich and it’s placement in front of Google headquarters.
Here is the first look at the Galaxy Nexus: the first phone to run Ice Cream Sandwich.
The long list of new features of Ice Cream Sandwich include:
- Refined, evolved UI where the most common actions are more visible. A lot of new actions are driven by gestures and slides rather than single-button presses.
- Virtual buttons “Back”, “Home”, and “Recent Apps” will be available across all devices carrying Ice Cream Sandwich. In the past, these buttons were physical soft-buttons on the devices themselves.
- Multi-tasking has evolved with a more Windows 7 phone “thumbnail” design.
- Folders and groups are now more detailed and easier to use.
- Widgets are now resizable.
- More options while the phone is on the lock screen. This allows for users to bring out the camera and see notifications directly without having to unlock the phone first.
- New incoming call option: reply by text message.
- More accurate keyboard.
- Better voice recognition system (Probably not better than Siri?)
- Control over network data to prevent overuse.
- Contacts are now “People”, “Profiles”, and “Favourites.” This new change sports a very Windows 7-like feel with large tile thumbnails.
- Access voice mail messages directly from the call log.
- Higher quality video and photo options including better image stabilization, continuous focus, and zero shutter lag exposure. There is a new panoramic function built into all Ice Cream Sandwiches.
- Facial recognition software for both photo and video that seems very iOS-like or web-cammy (Conveniently designed for Google+ hangouts).
- Better cloud-connected experiences for file syncing.
- Better email functions.
- Android Beam: a near-field communication (NFC) addition that allows direct sharing of practically anything between devices.
- Face Unlock: Can unlock the phone by having it recognize your face (Very futuristic!)
Full Gallery of Images Below.